New Delhi: One of India's senior nuclear scientists, Pashupati Rao, who works at Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC) run by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) is now facing wrath for sending suggestions to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a critical national project.
On 28 September, 2014, Rao had sent his suggestions including sensitive matters on the new nuclear complex to PM's official portal (pmindia.gov.in), which PMO had further sent to Rao's employer, DAE, marking them as ‘grievance' and sent out another mail to Rao on January 21 this year, saying his ‘grievance' has been disposed.
The PMO, in its communication to DAE, had revealed Rao's name and designation, thus making his full identity known to his superiors.
Following this, DAE persistently started following up with Rao asking for explanations while the latter desperately continued to explain himself.
As published in Economic Times, some DAE officials on condition of anonymity even said that Rao may face serious consequences.
Prominent whistleblower Prabhu Dandriyal, who some years ago had claimed to have exposed corruption in Defence Research & Development Organization, filed a Right to Information application on January 27 this year with the PMO on Rao's matter.
Dandriyal, in his RTI application demanded to know the guidelines followed by PMO while dealing with sensitive matters. He told that the PMO reply that came a month later, on February 27, said the request is being processed, and details are being collected.
In the Rao's suggestions to the Prime Minister, he had proposed that an independent team be appointed to review the project and he also mentioned technical details on cutting costs in it.
However, the PMO having sent his suggestions as ‘grievance' to DAE has put the top nuclear scientist in a bureaucratic nightmare.
The communication that happened with PMO was with NFC, Hyderabad, where Rao worked.
His matter was turned into a staff grievance. Although the scientist tried hard to explain his stand however, nothing worked in his favor.
In one of the communications to the Grievance Redressal Committee, Rao wrote, “I am a successful officer and I have been awarded with DAE group achievement award for indigenization associated work. My feedback given to the PMO which is converted as my grievance is not aimed at any individual.”
However, DAE has not relented and on February 10, it had sent out a letter to Rao reminding him that his job was limited to helping him in maintenance of NFC.
"As an organization, we will follow the process. As he is a staff member, it is being treated as a staff grievance and is being looked into," S Goverdhan Rao, deputy chief executive of NFC, told ET.
Meanwhile, Dandriyal is still awaiting a full reply from the PMO. He says, “It will be very difficult for people from the system to come out and expose corruption and inefficiency if there is no mechanism to protect them."